Heart of the City creating jobs for today and tomorrow

Sheffield’s Heart of the City, one of the country’s largest urban regeneration projects, is providing a fantastic pathway into the construction industry in Sheffield, with over 80 apprentices and previously unemployed people working across the scheme today.

Henry Boot Construction team at their Heart of the City site

Heart of the City is anticipated to generate 7,000 long-term jobs right in the core of Sheffield city centre, but its three currently live construction sites are also giving young people, as well as people who were previously unemployed, a clear path into work right now.

Delivered by Sheffield City Council and their Strategic Development Partner, Queensberry, construction of the scheme is progressing well with around 40% of the planned programme now complete.

Along Pinstone Street, construction of Issacs Building – 38,000 sq ft of office space, and Burgess House – featuring 52 new apartments, are set to complete early next year. Throughout the construction process of these developments, contractor Galliford Try has provided jobs to 33 previously unemployed people from the Sheffield region, alongside eight new apprenticeship roles.

The firm has also worked closely with many partners across the city, including Sheffield Hallam, University of Sheffield and Sheffield College, helping to facilitate mock interviews, career fairs, site visits and work experience.

Carol Shaw, Corporate Responsibility Manager at Galliford Try, said:

“It’s been a pleasure working with new and existing partners in Sheffield through our Heart of the City development. 

“Through our work we try to leave a lasting legacy. We do this by committing to work with the local supply chain enabling Sheffield people to gain employment, support community groups to meet local needs and inspire future generations to think about a career in construction through our engagement with educational establishments at all levels.”

Local construction firm, Henry Boot Construction, is also playing a significant role on their Heart of the City sites, where they are building Elshaw House – the city’s first net zero carbon-ready office, Cambridge Street Collective – a new social food hall and dining destination, and Kangaroo Works – a significant residential development delivering 364 new apartments.

Since beginning work earlier this year, the sites are currently home to ten apprentices and a further ten workers who were previously unemployed. All these employees are from Sheffield or the wider region, including Trainee Technician Harry Rodgers, 20, who enthused:

“As someone from Sheffield, I was extremely excited to get the opportunity to work for Henry Boot and contribute to a project that is helping transform and revitalise the city centre.

“The construction industry has always appealed to me. My traineeship is challenging and hugely interesting, providing me with an insight into the many construction trades that are required across the lifecycle of a project.”

The third live construction site in Heart of the City is delivering the scheme’s landmark Radisson Blu hotel, located between Pinstone Street and Burgess Street. Despite only starting in September, contractor McLaughlin & Harvey has quickly created 16 brand-new employment opportunities, including six new apprentice places. To date, local labour accounts for 89% of the construction hours worked on site.

"Heart of the City is playing a significant role in not only creating city centre jobs of the future, but also in the here and now. The construction of these flagship developments is providing fantastic opportunities for local young people, first-time employees or the unemployed to build up skills and gain valuable on-site experience – likely setting them up for a long and successful career within the construction industry."
Mazher Iqbal, Executive Member for City Futures, Development, Culture and Regeneration, Sheffield City Council